Vocational skills are ones that through learning, active study or practice can provide a skill set that’s useful in a work environment (and possibly personally too). One or more skills can be amassed over time to provide a more complete capability that a potential employer can use or is useful when working as a self-employed person providing a service.

Some of these vocational skills are ones that can be learned from reading books or watching lengthy YouTube tutorial videos. There’s also vocational training through structured courses that can give you a head start. These courses vary in length from a few hours only to 24 months. It depends on the subject and how advanced the course is. You can study at a UK educational establishment like a college or private training centre, through distance learning or purely online.

In this article, we will go through some of the different vocational skills that can be learned to start a new career or to be a service provider.

First Aid

A first aid course is a useful one to take. While it’s extremely helpful in the moment to know how to resuscitate someone in public should it be required, it’s also handy for work situations too.

Knowing first aid having taken a professional course looks good on a resume. When working with groups of people in a vocational situation, having some basic skills like how to revive someone or use of portable defibrillator adds value to your C.V. as an employee.

For instance, the Red Cross provides training to over 150,000 people annually for their first aid courses. This clearly demonstrates how in-demand this knowledge is.

Beyond the regular first aid course, there’s also the option to specialise in first aid at work and first aid for babies and kids. For work, it’s possible to get a refresher course if you’ve previously qualified. It’s easy to see how taking a Paediatric First Aid course over a couple of days would be desirable for people working in a nursery school or creche.

Basic Computing Skills

Basic computer skills are widely useable in many situations.

For mothers who are returning to work after multiple years off work taking care of a young family, software versions will have changed and perhaps the Windows operating system version is different than before too. Such changes make it difficult to use the software because it’s become unfamiliar with new features and options. The on-screen interface may also have been updated too.

For other people, they may lack in basic computing skills and need to take a course to learn how to manage email or use Office. While watching some YouTube videos is useful to pick-up individual skills, a structured course is far better to properly understand a software package like Microsoft Excel or Word. Creating a PowerPoint presentation equally needs a well-rounded understanding to produce a worthwhile presentation that impresses the intended audience.

Basic skills as described above are broadly applicable. Not only are they useful to draft a letter to someone or create a spreadsheet for your finances, but they’re also widely used in almost every business today. Indeed, for most jobs, computing skills are a prerequisite, making their acquisition well worth it.

Management and Leadership

Taking a short management and leadership course is useful for people working in a managerial role (or seeking to do so) or an entrepreneur who knows they need to manage a workforce.

A Pearson BTEC Level 4 Diploma in Management and Leadership is useful to people who’ve completed the 2nd and 3rd levels already or who have business experience that is sufficient to take a distance learning course like this one. This type of course runs over 120+ hours when taught as an online or distance program; students can choose the time they’d like to study.

This type of qualification is provided at multiple levels, so it’s possible to progress and use the knowledge to improve leadership and management abilities over time. Learning about human resource intricacies along with electives like managing budgets or strategic planning provides a balanced approach to the subject matter.

As each level is completed, confidence grows. Companies can also see the additional qualification(s) on your C.V., so when seeking an internal promotion, you will stand out against your peers.

Business Strategies for Entrepreneurs

The Business Strategies for Entrepreneurs course offered via Findcourses is an interesting short four-hour course for budding or new entrepreneurs.

The course runs through highly useful topics like deciding what service or product(s) to offer, how they can be delivered to the client, and what methods will be used to market them. The subject of where funds will come from and how much a business venture will require in start-up capital is also covered. How to manage and lead people is taught as a top-level topic, though clearly, other training courses cover that subject matter in more depth.

Other topics in the course include dealing effectively with customer relations, gaining a clear grasp of the finances behind the day-to-day business, using technology effectively, and how the economy impacts on the practicality of the business operations too.

This type of course provides a solid grounding for business students looking to get an overview or anyone wanting to start a business. With this type of course being completed in half a day, it only goes into a certain amount of depth. Certainly, if any of the topics need more information and background, other courses or books can provide greater detail.

Plastering Course for DIY Enthusiasts or Builders

When wanting to go into the trade or expand your capabilities on painting and decorating projects, taking a plastering course is a good one-day course to get up to speed. Whether working as a painter, builder, bricklayer or taking on a home project of your own, this will give you the know-how to accomplish plastering tasks well.

The practical course provided by Goldtrowel Plastering and Venetian Marble Plastering provides hands-on experience with a real-world ceiling plastering job. They run through the correct procedures to complete the plastering task properly so that it will last. This is what you need whether working for yourself or providing a service to other people.

Cisco Networking

There are many options to study successfully to become a network specialist using Cisco networks.

Courses covering CCNET and CCNA provide enough knowledge to progress in your study goals to eventually successfully take and pass the relevant Cisco exams. This opens the door to positions like network engineer, network manager, and management level positions at a later date too.

You’ll need a clear-headed approach, a mind for technical details, and strong attention to detail. Once qualified, you’d work on both software and hardware problems and aim to resolve them both quickly and successfully.

Vocational training covers many different topics. Budding hair stylists can take a hair styling diploma to learn how it’s done. If you can dream it, there’s probably a short course that can at least get you started with additional practical experience moving you from theory to real-world application. Rather than waiting to complete a much longer degree over several years, when wanting to move forward into a new career or boost an existing one with new skills, shorter training courses fill a real need.


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